Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Hibernation 2015 - wherein I discuss stashing food supplies and what I achieved of my pre-hibernation goals, and perhaps, the dreams I will dream during said winter incubation period

I recently got asked to do a Thing in another city, and I very seriously replied that I was, in fact, in hibernation until the end of February. A conservative estimate. In truth, the end of hibernation depends on the end of Snow Season, which is different from the end of Winter. Although the two are not wholly unrelated.

Northern Michigan winters are not something I take lightly. Yes, there are places where winter is worse and/or more persistent. But this is nothing to be sneezed at. Unless you have the flu on top of being trapped in your own house and really we all should have just gotten flu shots. No, I'm not completely cut off from civilization -- see, I have the internet, I have all the civilization I need -- but when your means of getting to the grocery store or anywhere else in town is a tiny compact car, you reevaluate your ability to fight the terror in white.

And damn if road slush didn't nearly do me in the other day. It wasn't even snow! Or ice! Just the goofy slush! Argh.

So I don't travel between Christmas and the start of March. Not if I can help it and certainly not for any distance.

The cupboard shall not run bare.


I have a December through March worry, which becomes a full on January and February neurotic maxim, to always have several days worth of food on hand -- food that can be turned into meals, not just a box of Cheerios and a pound of butter. Shudder. Because we never know when the next big snow is going to hit.

Last year the weather forecasts were dead on. Then again it seemed like we got 2-5" every day last winter, so I guess it's not that hard to predict. But this year they predict 3" we get none. They predict 6" we get none. They predict 5" we get 12." Sigh. And even when a mild 5" fell earlier this week, and I had diligently shoveled out all the requisite paths -- clear sidewalk for school kids, clear steps for mail man, clear driveway for me to get the car out -- I slipped and slid all over the place courtesy of aforementioned slush. So I try to stay off the roads the day of snowfall if I can. (A home office is a brilliant thing.) But if it snows for three days . . . I'm screwed. Or at least stranded.

Which is fine. Because I prepare.

I like to have enough on hand that I could, if needed, wait it out for a week until a clear day afforded me passage to the market that did not land me in the ditch or making new friends and acquaintances of the let's trade insurance information variety. At the very least I can stretch things out by eating rice and kimchi until I realize that I'm not Korean enough -- even in my own mind -- to eat kimchi with every meal. (It should be noted that technically I'm not Korean at all, I just watch too much K-drama and it's been rubbing off on me.)

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Rate Your Festive Feelings on a Scale of 1 to 10

Last year, my relations expressed their upset that I had no plans to erect a Christmas tree in my living room. I was finally living someplace that had the space for a tree. Actually, I had the space for an ungodly monster tree. And having the space meant I should do it, of course. But I couldn't justify the expense of it, even for a small tree that would look like a ridiculous toy tree in said monster-sized space. See, if you've never put up a tree there are start up costs; at the very least you have to get a tree-stand even if you get super creative with your decorations and string popcorn like Laura Ingalls Wilder and hang cat toys on the boughs.

But I wasn't hosting any parties or celebrations that year, and more importantly, I didn't have kids. Trees are for people who have kids. Little kids, grown kids, kids at home, kids coming to visit, grandkids. Not only does tree trimming take an army or a ton of patience, it's a bit like cooking a whole turkey -- even if you get the small one, what's the point if there's only one or two people to enjoy it?

I still decorated. I hung garlands in the windows and ran some strategic strings of lights, stuck a couple nutcrackers on a shelf where the cat almost couldn't knock them down.

This year, not so much.

I asked my also-not-living-with-kids girlfriend if she had decorated:

Me: I have done zero decorating
Friend: Me too.
Me: And have only slightly more than zero impulse to do it.
Friend: I'm kind of pretending Christmas isn't happening. If I got a tree I think my cats would destroy it. Plus, what, I'm going to decorate a tree myself and then just look at it? what's the point?
Me: That's what I tried to tell my relations last year: trees are for people with offspring. I did get festive last year. Put up decorations. No tree, but knickknacks.
Friend: I have a cute wooden advent calendar up.
Me: Oh!!! I have a festive jar of candy canes! #TakeThatMarthaStewart Friend: LOL! Not just a jar of candy canes, a FESTIVE jar of candy canes!
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